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How Your Ponytail Is Damaging Your Hair


The other day I was lurking on Instagram and came across a meme that said “If you gotta force it, leave it alone. Relationships, friendships, ponytails. Just leave it.” And after I snickered a little, it made me think. Are ponytails *really* that bad for your hair? Since ponytails are often my go-to hairstyle, I decided to do a little research. Yes, it’s true that wearing tight ponytails can cause thinning, breakage, and permanent hair loss — especially at the hairline. But there are a few ways to minimize, or even prevent damage to this sensitive portion of hair.


  • Loose is best. Just because your favorite celebrity looked great with her super-sleek, tight pony, doesn’t mean that’s a great option for everyday wear. Try gathering your hair loosely, then securing it.
  • Wear it low. If you’re like me and you wear ponytails because you hate the feeling of hair in your face, try a low pony. If you gather your hair loosely at the back, there’s virtually no tention being put on your precious edges.
  • Choose the right accessories. If you’re still using rubber bands, and elastics with metal closures to secure your ponytails, stop that! Seriously. There are so many less-damaging options to choose from. My favorite are by the Goody brand. They have a terrific line of “Ouchless Elastics,” in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and styles. They also make “Ouchless Ribbon Elastics,” which combine the look and softness of ribbons/headbands, with the stretchy flexibility of an elastic. Another great option is the old-school claw clip. Goody, of course, makes an ouchless, slide-proof version that’s great for ponytails.
  • Moisturize. Apply a little of your favorite styling product to your hair before putting it into a ponytail. Not only will it provide some slip, it will also keep your ponytail in place and eliminate frizz. Can’t beat that!
  • Dry your hair. Avoid putting your hair in a ponytail while it’s wet. Wet hair is much more fragile than dry hair and can break easily. Just wrapping an elastic around your hair multiple times can cause damage to wet hair, especially if your hair is already thin.
  • Take a break. Try to give your hair at least a day or two of rest. If a ponytail is your only styling option, give your hair a break at night by wearing it loose/down. Every little bit helps!

What are some of your go-to hairstyles that are quick and easy, but still fun?

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing